Optical/IP Networks

Fashion Victim

11:30 AM -- Shareholder meetings can be boring affairs, but the entertainment value was high at Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU)'s Thursday gathering, where investors flocked to vote on the company's transatlantic marriage. (See Investors Say Oui to Alcatel/Lucent.)

Lucent CEO Pat Russo, who is in line to be CEO of the merged Alcatel Lucent, opened proceedings with a predictable pro-merger slide presentation, but the fun started 30 minutes or so later when the floor was open to questions.

A microphone was immediately grabbed by an investor who, on the audio Webcast at least, sounded like a rabid midget on amphetamines.

She (I think!) launched into a two-minute diatribe that incorporated personal opinion, rhetorical and direct questions, and repeated statements to the effect that the merger was "a joke," "outrageous," and "unbelievable."

And for sheer entertainment, this was a 10/10 performance.

Following the suggestion that Russo would spend her time as CEO of the merged company visiting Paris catwalk shows, the foaming banshee added: "In one year you will want to leave. They will tell you how pretty you are... but the French will want to run the show."

"Remember Pat," she squealed over the PA system at Russo, "you will be Prime Minister, but the Prime Minister answers to the King."

Who, Elvis?

Apparently not. "That King is Serge Tchuruk, who will want to replace you with Mike Quigley," screamed the shareholder.

Ah, that old chestnut... (See Inside Lucatel: Quigley's Not Mad at Pat.)

Cue a mixture of applause and laughter from the other attending investors, before Russo coolly responded: "Thank you for all your questions and comments."

And no, we don't know which designer Russo was 'wearing'...

— Ray Le Maistre, Fashion Editor, Light Reading

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